Keep an eye out for rare plant

spiked rampion
spiked rampion

IT is approaching the time of year to spot one of the rarest wild flowers in the UK says the Sussex Wildlife Trust.

The spectacular spiked rampion is an extremely rare wild flower that only grows at a handful of sites in East Sussex. Also known as ‘white Rapunzel’, its unusual cream-coloured spikes bloom in May and June.

As a wild plant spiked rampion is common in central Europe but it is one of the UK’s most rarest plants, and native only to East Sussex.

Vicky Whitaker, from Sussex Wildlife Trust, said: “It is incredibly fussy where it grows and appears only on a tiny number of sites in East Sussex, mainly on uncut verges. It’s spiky cones of creamy-white flowers are on rigid stems standing just under a metre high.

“A member of the bellflower family, its closest relative is round-headed rampion, a wild flower that is more common on the South Downs than anywhere else

is known on the continent as white Rapunzel - according to the fairytale Rapunzel’s father steals the flower for his pregnant wife from the garden of an enchantress. As a punishment they are forced to give the enchantress their baby which she names Rapunzel and locks in a tall tower.”

If you would like to tell Sussex Wildlife Trust about the nature you see or hear please visit the wildlife advice pages on our website